Flurry of 31 Earthquakes at Kīlauea Volcano

March 5, 2017, 8:43 AM HST · Updated March 5, 8:50 AM
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M 3.9 – 5km S of Volcano, Hawaiʻi. USGS/HVO.

A “flurry of small earthquakes” was reported this morning along the upper East Rift Zone of the Kīlauea Volcano.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that, starting just before 6 a.m. HST Sunday morning, March 5, 2017, a sequence of 31 earthquakes over a period of about 42 minutes.

The eight largest events had magnitudes ranging from 1.7 to 3.9 and depths of about 1-2 miles beneath the surface.

At least six of the earthquakes were felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi, primarily in the Ka‘ū and Puna Districts. The USGS “Did you feel it?” website received more than 30 felt reports within an hour of the largest earthquake, which occurred at 6:13 a.m. Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of IV, has been reported. At that intensity, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

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The earthquakes were concentrated about 3-4 mikes southeast of Kīlauea’s summit in an area between Hi‘iaka and Koʻokoʻolau Craters on the Chain of Craters Road in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

HVO scientists say the size and location of this morning’s earthquake sequence suggest a source that may be related to the ongoing pressurized magma storage system beneath the Kīlauea summit area.

According to Tina Neal, HVO Scientist-in-Charge, the earthquakes caused no significant changes in Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions. No changes in deformation or ground surface cracks were observed in the area.

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